PRICELESS GIFTS: How to Give the Best To Those You Love by Daniel A. Sugarman

PRICELESS GIFTS: How to Give the Best To Those You Love

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sugarman is a psychologist who sounds as commonsensical as ye olde country doctor, with values to match. He's fed up with the popular psychological trends by which ""plain, old-fashioned selfishness is too frequently now being called serf-actualization,"" and his irritation with the New Narcissism (or NN, as he likes to call it) spawned by psychologists ""with a lotus leaf in one hand and an electric vibrator in the other,"" spurs the development of a counterproposal--a balance between concern with one's own needs and concern with the needs of others. Sugarman spins psychological parables about old men planting carob trees, quotes numerous cases he has treated, and refers to everything from mythology to psychological studies that support ""giving"" as an alternative to ""me-first"" philosophies. The 13 separate categories include such emotional gifts as time, acceptance, privacy, self-disclosure, giving up a bad habit, and listening. List after list delineates healthy attitudes toward these topics, and ""weeds"" (wrong ideas that presumably choke) are carefully differentiated from ""seeds"" (from which growth presumably will spring). Some of the insights are trite (""You can be very poor financially, but you can leave a rich legacy of example""), while others are a little more fine-tuned (""Most people who have self-esteem problems really have overevaluated esteem of others""). More exclamation points than excitement, but a refreshingly blunt alternative to the prevailing modes.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1978
Publisher: Macmillan